We will probably be moving in the next month or so, which means I am packing up our household of 6.
The last time we moved we only had 2 children and moved just a couple miles away so it wasn’t a huge “pack and drive” kind of thing, more like take a load in the car and hope nothing breaks. This time we’re moving significantly farther and with significantly more stuff.
I wish there was an easy way to go about it. I want to be organized about the whole process so if I need something I can find it easily when we get to our new house. I also want to make sure that I utilize the help I have when we get there. In my mind I envision having a “master plan” list that shows which rooms each bin/box goes into so we only have to touch it once. We’ll see…
As I’m packing I’m thinking too about baggage. The “stuff” that one carries around for years sometimes. Baggage shapes who we are. Sometimes baggage boosts us up to reach our goals, sometimes it weighs us down so much that we never move. Regardless though, we all have it.
I have been sorting through bins from my childhood and adolescence the last couple of days. There are times when I read notes to and from friends and I laugh. I laugh at the silliness and the nicknames we had for one another. I have found things that I wrote to help me cope with difficult times at home. I read love notes from boyfriends and the one boyfriend who became my husband. I cringe sometimes at the person I was. I feel wounds being re-opened because I remember the hurt, the anger I felt back then and if I’m not careful it can come sneaking back up and leak out into my life now. I can remember the black I felt so often years ago.
I have looked back the last couple of days, I have laughed at pictures from my high school years with my boys. I’ve told them stories of the friends I had and the things we did. We laughed at how young daddy and I looked when we started dating. But…I’ve kept the journals and poems I wrote tucked away for later when they’re older and I can explain what was going on in my life then. But I can look back and can see how I’ve grown because of and in spite of my baggage. I can see that God used those experiences and my baggage to shape who I am today.
Most of all though, I am reminded of His grace. I am reminded that even then, He was guiding my steps. Much of the baggage I carried early on, I have left by the wayside. It no longer attaches itself to me, it no longer adds weight to my shoulders. But this last week I was reminded just how much baggage I used to carry and how far I have walked away from it all.
And I am grateful.

Five Minute Friday — Story

On Fridays a group of folk meet here for a free writing exercise.

Just 5 minutes. On the prompt that’s posted here just after midnight early Friday morning. Want to know more – check out the Five Minute Friday back story over here.

And every week I feature a favorite Five Minute Friday post by one of you over there in my side bar. It never ceases to amaze me the creative collaboration that can come from all of us writing on just one word.

Want to join our favorite free writing exercise of the week? It’s easy peasy:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat on the prompt: “Story” with no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.

2. Link back here and invite others to join in.

3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

OK, are you ready? Please give me your best five minutes on:::


My story.

My story is more than just a list of facts and statistics. It is about emotion and the shaping of who I am. My story has turns and twists and ups and downs. My story has chapters that only I know have been written. But most of all, as cliche’ as it sounds, I hope that my story has God written all over it.

I love how I can look back at my life and see the Author of my life weaving story lines together building my life piece by piece. I used to wonder when I was 8 and struggling to fit in, in a new town, why God moved our family. I can look back and see how He brought characters to my story into my life in that little town. How they helped shape me in ways only they could. I think of my friends and my teachers. The ones who made a difference and who were there listening to me and rooting me on from the sidelines. I hear them telling me “you can do it” and “I’m praying for you” when I think about the challenges that were brought my way in that small little town.

I can see how God brought me to that small town to meet my husband. And what a blessing that has been!

God is the author of my life. He directs my steps and I trust Him with the pen of my life. As I have learned that He is the one penning this tale, I have become eager to read what the next page holds and where the next chapter will take us. I am never so anxious though that I forget to savor the story on this page, this chapter, at this moment.

Psalm 119:35

35 Make me walk in the path of Your commandments,

For I delight in it.

Off guard

I was caught off guard today by my emotions.
I was going through some bins in our basement and came across our costume bin. As I was sorting through, towards the bottom there it was. The dress-up dress I have been saving since before I was married for my “someday daughter” and my breath caught in my throat. My eyes filled with tears at the reminder of the daughter I have lost and the son I still grieve. Both whom I long for.
I cried.
I grieved for the daughter I won’t be holding in November. I felt hot anger about the fact that I have a bin that is labeled “Lord willing girl stuff” and the womb where I carried my daughter is empty. I’ve hidden away a hand knit dress that a co-worker gave me when I was in California. I have a headband with a ridiculously gigantic flower on it and a pink onesie with little daisies around the collar. It’s all packed away in the back of the closet, waiting and hoping for a baby.
It hit me this morning…what if all it does is sit there and wait? What if there isn’t another baby, what if that daughter never comes? What it?  And the gravity of the grief came crashing down. I sat on my floor and grieved my children, my empty arms and the unknown ahead.
I sat and felt sorry for myself. But as I wallowed I saw…
Around the corner peeked two little eyes. In came a sleepy eyed little one carrying his sippy cup. He curled up on my lap and patted my arm. He looked puzzled at the tears on my cheeks. I inhaled and snuggled the warmth of his little bed wrinkled cheek. I thanked God for the blessing of my children. All of them, the ones I get to hold and the ones I don’t. He reminded me, while I grieve I should rejoice. I should delight and I should trust.
I was caught off guard today, but the Lord did not let me fall.

Proverbs 3: 5-8

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart

And do not lean on your own understanding.

6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,

And He will make your paths straight.

7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;

Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.

8 It will be healing to your body

And refreshment to your bones.



New Recipe Monday — Crockpot Chicken Spaghetti

This past week I had 11 people for lunch (including our family). I had no idea what I was going to fix. So I asked my readers for suggestions and had some fantastic options. I picked this recipe and modified it (I never follow a recipe exactly) to fit what I had. It’s not the healthiest, but it was a hit and was really easy to make.

Crock-pot Chicken Spaghetti


***I made a double recipe in my crockpot, so everything below was times 2 except the pasta***
16 oz dry spaghetti, cooked (I used 16 oz bag of elbow macaroni)
1 lb. velveeta light cheese
12.5 oz can chicken breast, drained and flaked (I don’t use canned meat, so used some left over baked chicken)
10 3/4 oz can 98% fat free cream of mushroom soup, undiluted (I don’t buy cream soups anymore…I found a recipe that I make whenever I need it…I share that next week)
10 3/4 oz can 98% fat free cream of chicken soup, undiluted
10 oz can diced tomatoes and green chilies (Ro-Tel)
4 oz can mushroom stems and pieces, drained (I didn’t add these)
1/2 c water
1 small onion, diced
1 medium green pepper, diced (I used red, orange, yellow and green)
salt & pepper, to taste


Spray slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray
Combine all ingredients in slow cooker and stir well
Cook on LOW for 2-3 hours. Stir again just before serving. I served it with salad, french bread, celery and carrots. It would be good with tortillas or corn chips.
**I actually cooked it on high for about 2 hours and then turned it down because I wanted to make sure it was heated through. I would also suggest when you’re cooking the pasta cooking it al dente because it continues to cook in the crock pot and it can get mushy**